EA Sports picks Super Bowl party site as builders rush to get plush temporary nightclub ready
Construction workers at Club Nomadic, the temporary 62,500-square-foot nightclub that will host several of Houston's biggest Super Bowl parties, had Thursday morning off so the media could get a progress report on the Sawyer Yards structure and learn about two more major events planned there.
But that's probably the only time off workers will have in the next 30 days.
Jack Murphy, the brainchild behind the idea to build a temporary building from scratch for Super Bowl parties, vowed that it will be ready to host the inaugural EA Sports Bowl on February 2 as well as a concert afterwards featuring country singer Sam Hunt and DJ duo The Chainsmokers. Tickets will go on sale at Ticketmaster on Friday, January 20, at 10 am CST. Floor level general admission tickets are $100; second-level standing VIP tickets are $275 and include open bar and hors d'oeuvres.
"We've got a lot to do as you can see," said Murphy, president of Nomadic Entertainment. "But we'll get there."
The EA Sports Bowl is a successor to the EA Sports Madden Bowl, which has been a Super Bowl party fixture for 23 years. The Houston event will feature pro athlete tournaments in both EA Sports Madden NFL 17 and FIFA 17, showcasing the talents of some of the world’s best athletes. The venue will also be the site for a Bruno Mars concert sponsored by Pepsico on February 3 and a Taylor Swift concert on February 4 at the DirecTV Super Saturday Night party.
Right now, the 62,500-square-foot building looks like a massive aluminum shed with most of the walls up but not much completed inside. A polycarbonate plastic material, arriving Saturday, will be installed on the exterior of the building facing Edwards street, so that images and video mapping can be flashed across the front entrance.
Murphy plans to have the inside mostly ready for the production team on January 13, after which attention will be focused on transforming the facility into a plush multi-level nightclub that can accommodate an expected crowd of 9,000 each night of the Super Bowl week activities. "It's going to be a mad dash," he said.
Murphy is also excited about snagging the EA Sports Bowl for the venue. "They've been part of the Super Bowl for years now. To have them as part of the venue, that's pretty powerful. I get a little choked up over it," he said.
EA Sports account director for strategic events marketing Moya Dacey said the facility allows for the biggest showcase ever for the sports entertainment brand, which specializes in top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, fan programs and cross-platform digital experiences.
"We're changing it to the EA Sports Bowl, so all of our sports side will be represented in some form or fashion," she said. "We're planning on having a hands-on game area room, so that guests at the party can come play. We're working on having a Madden tournament with athletes and celebrities. We're really excited; this is a big event for us."
Parking remains an issue as nearby Washington Avenue is expected to be a major party hub and other parties will take place in the area, including The Big Texas Party, presented by CultureMap, ESPN Radio and SB Nation, at Silver Street Studios almost directly across the street from Club Nomadic on February 2.
Susan Christian, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Special Events, said a comprehensive traffic plan is being developed by the city in consultation with representatives of venues in the area that will be released a couple of weeks before the Super Bowl. It will include shuttle lots, with regular bus service to the venues, enhanced Uber and taxi service, and other transportation options.
Businesses in the area say they have been told that Edwards street will be blocked off to regular traffic during the evenings.